Popular culture icons in their day, Jane Withers and Gene Autry are perhaps not totally understood by younger generations, but here they both are in a vehicle tailor-made for their undeniable, if contrasting, talents -- on Withers' request, legend has it. Admittedly, they work well together, Withers doing what came natural, the consequences be damned, and Autry, well, being Autry. Shooting High is no Western by any stretch of the imagination -- although Autry does catch the Bad Guys on his trusted steed Champion -- but rather a rural comedy with songs -- plenty of them, in fact, including Autry and Johnny Marvin's "Shanty of Dreams" and "Only One Love in a Lifetime." There is some attempt at parodying Fox's latest Western epic, Jesse James (1939), which had been lensed partially on locations in a rural Missouri that had never seen moving cameras before, and ineffectual leading man Robert Lowery does resemble Henry Fonda a bit; but mostly Shooting High is about that old mountain feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, here represented by Jane's kin, the Pritchards, and Gene's, the Carsons. Restored by Gene Autry Entertainment and the Westerns Channel, Shooting High has not looked or sounded better since its premiere back in April of 1940.
by Hans J. Wollstein review